Abstract of essay by Robyn Wiegman

One of the things we're doing in my Women's Studies class, in addition to the weekly response papers, is taking turns writing abstracts of one of the readings (total of 3 over the course of the semester). I decided to get one of those out of the way. Here's my first draft:

Abstract of "The Progress of Gender: Whither 'Women'?" by Robyn Wiegman

Wiegman argues against the effectiveness of gender studies as a replacement term for women's studies by pointing out that the search for a coherent referent to the object of study in women's studies is futile because the way knowledge is formed in feminist thought is based on identity, which gender does not escape but only sidesteps.

So. Happy. to be back

Wow, I had no idea how attached I am to this blog! Those six days without blogging were awful. In case the site goes offline again, I should say that I'm planning a move to a different server, so there might be a day of database transfer in there somewhere.

This just in...more response papers!

Carol just emailed the syllabus to the class, and we'll be doing response papers in the genre class too! Heh, I'm taking classes in three separate departments and they're all assigning response papers. I wonder if they had a university-wide faculty meeting and planned it? The one I'll be doing for next week is on some forthcoming work by John Swales and also some Bakhtin on speech genres.

Response papers are a'comin!

I love my classes this fall. Two of them are what we used to call "readings courses" at the University of Tennessee. In other words, they're meant to be foundation courses, not seminars, which translates to lots of short papers and no long seminar paper! The other is Carol Berkenkotter's Genre Theory course, which will be great too. The first class of my week is Feminist Theories and Methods with Jacquelyn Zita, in which we have a 2-3 page response paper due every week. Then there's Lillian Bridwell-Bowles's Gender, Rhetoric, and Literacy: Historical Bedfellows class, in which we have a one-page response due every week. I thought, why not post those responses here? You can read along with me if you like. Next week's responses will be on the following readings...

For the Feminist Theories and Methods class, which has specified themes for the response papers:

  • Beverly Guy-Sheftall, interview with Evelynn M. Hammonds, "Whither Black Women's Studies"
  • Robyn Wiegman, "The Progress of Gender: Whither 'Women'?"
  • Leora Auslander, "Do Women's + Feminist + Lesbian and Gay + Queer Studies = Gender Studies?"
  • Shirley Yee, "The 'Women' in Women's Studies"

and the theme is "Women's Studies: What's in a name?"

For the Gender, Rhetoric, and Literacy class, the readings are:

  • the first two chapters of Rhetoric Retold by Cheryl Glenn (which is awesome so far!)
  • the first three articles in Reclaiming Rhetorica edited by Andrea Lunsford: "On Reclaiming Rhetorica" by Lunsford, "Aspasia: Rhetoric, Gender, and Colonial Ideology" by Susan Jarratt and Rory Ong, and "A Lover's Discourse: Diotima, Logos, and Desire"
  • and the sections on Aspasia and Diotima from Available Means: An Anthology of Women's Rhetoric(s) edited by Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald

I figure posting my responses will both beef up the scholarly content of my blog and force me to make the responses better than they'd ordinarily be, as more people will be reading them. Funny what motivates me.

Revolve: sorry, I have to comment.


What we have here is a New Testament in secular packaging, which is fine, right? Well, except for the fact that they've only published a Bible like this for young women, not young men, and young white women at that--the slice of the population that most needs to be controlled and disciplined, they'd have us believe. Anyway. Look what they're doing with what many people, including Christian feminists, insist is egalitarian theology:

Among its declarations: "Revolve girls don't call guys," and "Revolve girls are not argumentative."

One entry in an advice column called Blab says, "God made guys to be the leaders. That means they lead in relationships. They tell you they like you first, not vice versa.

From the faith section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Emphasis in original.

AKMA, I'm wondering if you've seen this and what you think. My guess is that you'd dismiss this as a fundamentalist interpretation of the New Testament. Am I right? What do postmodernist theologians think of this kind of stuff? (Oh, by the way, nice post.)

The Ol' College Try

Yesterday, I finished revising my paper titled "Sites of Resistance: Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses" for the AoIR conference. It was nominated for a student prize (based on the abstract), so I thought I better revise the paper, which I wrote for a class last spring. The original paper was definitely not my best work; I just did what I could with the time allotted, which you have to do sometimes, right? I was dreading looking at the paper, but I did, because I thought about my general guideline in situations like these: If you don't apply for that job/scholarship/award, you have a 100% chance of NOT getting it. If you do apply, you will increase those odds slightly.

I don't think I've ever revised a paper on such a large scale. I mean I took that thing apart and put it back together again. I took out whole paragraphs, cut whole sections and pasted them in different places in the paper, and added paragraphs and sentences that helped express my argument in a more authoritative voice. In other words, I did what all those writing textbooks say to do, and I'm happy with the results. I'm actually going to submit the paper to the conference archive in a few days for all to see! To friends, I joked that trying to revise this paper was like polishing a turd. It was, but I learned in the process, which couldn't come at a better time, as I'm about to start teaching composition again.

Friendster: I have finally succumbed.

Thanks a lot, Scott! Scott has just invited me to Friendster, the latest web community "six degrees of separation" craze. I've known about it for some time but have tried to resist it. Oh well, so much for that.


I'm finishing up the syllabus for my class and feeling better about it. I decided to require blogging again, but this time I'm trying a community blog rather than individual student blog sites. They can always do those if they want to. Here's the rough version. I'm wondering if I should put my own blog on the blogroll. If I do, the students will learn a lot about me, and it could be considered shameless self-promotion...but heck, on the other hand, it's easy to find CultureCat anyway. It's the #1 Google hit if you search for my name, and it's in my email signature. I'm trying to be very specific and thorough in my blogging requirements, including citation practices, frequency of posts, word count, etc. Luckily for me, Charlie and Terra cover these very well, and provide a great road map.

[Edited because I am fabulous and unstoppable! I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it! People like me. ]

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